Showing 1 - 25 of 31 comments
Daryl: You are correct – it was Fred Storey, not Story. Small errors are easily forgiven.
Jack: The photo you submitted was obviously taken some time in the 40s, but remove the cars and change the marque and it could have been from the 60s. I remember that there was a liquor store in the complex in the 60s.
Thanks for the photo, Jack.
Somewhere along the line I remember reading that the Gay Paree was a Mike Thevis operation. Thanks for the updated location photo, Ken.
Hinson McAuliffe did indeed periodically raid the XXX theaters in Atlanta, think there were about 7 or 8 of them. After a raid they would switch to showing softcore for a while – but they had good lawyers, and when the heat died down, they went back to hardcore. It took McAuliffe a while to fine tune his prosecutorial skills in that area, but by 1980 he did succeed in shutting down all the porno theaters in Fulton County. The Buckhead Cinema was the only “adult” theater that remained open – it survived by switching to a softcore format (most of the major adult film companies shot in two versions: hard and soft.) Open secret among the raincoat crowd was the Buckhead showed hardcore late at night on the weekends.
With the glut of porn on the internet and tons of dvds now available, it’s hard to imagine that the pruriently inclined once had to go to public ‘adult’ theaters to scratch their itch.
As a teenager at Bass High School in the 60s, my orbit was downtown, the Emory area and, of course,
Little Five Points. Buckhead was the Edge of the Known World to me, but I sometimes did venture into
Buckhead to browse Jim Sallee’s record shop, located to the right of the Capri, toward Roswell Road.
About 1966 I saw my first movie(s) at the Capri – a double feature, The Haunting and Lolita, sort of a
strange pairing. Lolita, (Kubrick) as I remember, had been out a few years, so I guess the Capri was
not a first run house at the time. Then in 1972, on a cold winter’s Saturday afternoon, I saw The
Godfather there. The house was packed for that very popular movie. Some time in the 80s, after the
Capri morphed into the Roxy, I saw rockabilly performer Robert Gordon play there. Admission was
worth it just to see his hair.
I’m in exile now in Arizona, so thanks, J.B., for the good news that the old place had reopened in yet
I first started watching movies at the Plaza when I was a kid living in Little FIve Points in the 50s.
The Euclid was my usual haunt, but sometimes I’d feel adventurous and make the walk to the Plaza -
the movies for the kiddie matinee there were usually a bit more recent than the Euclid’s fare.
Saturday morning, there was always a line of Baby Boomers waiting to get in. Plaza Drugs (“We Never
Close”) anchored the north end of the little strip mall, the Plaza theater (and a grocery store) were at
the center, a bank anchored the south end. On rare occasions I’d enjoy a grilled burger with my dad
at the Majestic Diner just across the street, before taking in a movie at the Plaza.
At night the theater’s neon facade would be lit up – the accordion neon behind the brightly
lit “PLAZA” would be flashing in sequence – it was quite a sight to see. Riding in my dad’s car down
Ponce de Leon at night, I couldn’t take my eyes off those lights.
Years later the Plaza suffered the fate of many a struggling neighborhood theater – the grand old
lady became a porn house. I went to one such performance – I couldn’t stay for more than a few
minutes. It was like watching porn in church.
Happily, as we know from CT posts, the Plaza cleaned up and went back to the mission she was
made for – showing “regular” movies. The last one I saw there was “The Crying Game.” (A girl with a
silver ring in her nose sold me my ticket.) What a thrill to see the house lights go down and to hear the pulleys working to draw that beautiful curtain back! If I ever get back to Atlanta (from exile in Arizona) I hope to be able to once again see another movie at the Plaza.
another movie at the Plaza.
Hey Mike & Other CT fans:
I went downtown to the movies frequently from the mid60s through the early 80s, and my
experiences were usually positive. Reading comments about the Rialto, I guess there was a point when things became a bit dicey (security guard on duty!). I never had any trouble in the theaters – the
streets could be a different matter, though.
At the Omni, if I had enough time before or after the movie, I’d frequently go down to the ice skating rink (early 80s) and watch the skaters – felt like I was in NY rather than Atlanta.
Pardon me for four posts in a row, but I have just a little more to say about the Euclid Theater.
I lived on Euclid Ave and then Albemarle Ave in the 50s. I first started going to kiddie matinees at the Emory in 1956 or ‘57. Those shows were mostly older cowboy features, from the early or mid 40s. There was always a line at the box office on Saturday mornings – where
else could parents get a 4-5 hour babysitter for less than fifty cents? Admission, as I remember, was
fifteen cents. I always had to carefully plan how I would spend the 15-20 cents my old man would
lavish on me for treats (actually my lunch). I usually opted for the Snow Cone, available in grape and
my favorite, cherry. The cone would be supplemented by a couple of five cent candies, Milk Duds
were high on my list of favorites. Of the three neighborhood theaters in the area, Euclid, Hilan and
Plaza, I believe the Euclid was the only one to sell Snow Cones.
By 1957, the Euclid, open less than 20 years, was beginning to get a little frayed around the edges.
The carpets on either side of the center seats was a gelatinous mass of sludge, years of ground in
soda and candy. I still remember the sticky adhesive sound my Buster Browns would make as I
walked on the floor between the seats. It was possible to step out of a loafer on those floors.
My older cousin, a tenth grader at Bass High, on the hill directly across the street from the
Euclid, worked the box office for a while. He took great delight in busting kids over 12 who tried to
get into the theater for the kiddie admission price. He later became a banker — that figures.
Quite a few of the Euclid seats were ripped and repaired with duct tape. My cousin told me that there
were a couple of guys they were watching, suspects in the seat slashing wave of '58. They were
eventually caught, and banned from the theater. The Euclid was the only neighborhood theater I
ever heard of that had a “banned list.” Parts of Little Five Points were pretty tough.
The Euclid also had “love seats” – a few seats on the outer aisle built for two people. I don’t recall
seeing love seats at other theaters, although they might have been common, I can just remember
them at the Euclid.
In 1959 we moved to Siberia, aka Decatur, so it was so long Euclid. By the time I got back to
L5P, the Euclid was history. By the time I graduated from Bass in 1965, Little Five was in decline,
getting downright sleazy. Glad to see that the area has bounced back, and that the Euclid continues
life, albeit in another incarnation.
I remember passing that sad little theater a few times in the 70s when I was in
grad school at the Uof I. Funny, in a year and a half, I only made it to downtown
Champaign two or three times.
Ken MC – thanks for the photo. Looking at those cars though, I’d say that one
was taken in the 50s, not the 60s.
I often went to the Euclid Theater kiddie matinees, starting about ‘57. The Little FIve Points
was closed then, if memory serves me correctly. I remember that there was an A&P supermarket
close to that theater and a Woolworth’s a little further up the street. By the time I graduated from
Bass in '65, the A&P was gone, and I believe Woolworth’s had closed as well. Indeed, at one time,
I think there were two supermarkets in Little 5 Points. In the mid60s, the area had started to
decline – noteworthy that a structure as big as the Little Five Points Theater, right on Euclid Avenue,
could remain empty and largely untouched for more than 20 years.
Glad there’s life in the building now.
I saw Elvis perform at the Paramount in ‘56. I was 8 years old. My mother, in her late 30s, went to
the show – my father was mad as hell about that (he knew Elvis was all about sex!) and insisted on
going along, with me in tow. I don’t remember a variety show, but I do remember the cowboy
movie shown before Elvis took the stage. The audience, young and well mixed, male and female,
kept yelling throughout the movie, “We want Elvis!!” That really annoyed me, as I wanted to see
the cowboy movie. But I did want to see Elvis, too. To me he wasn’t about sex, he was about
blue suede shoes and hound dogs. I couldn’t understand why those girls kept screaming the whole
time Elvis was singing. And I had never seen anyone move like that. I guess no one else had either.
A year or two after Elvis was long gone, I saw “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” at the
I’ve been gone from Atlanta since ‘97. A friend recently told me about CT. I was really shocked to find
the Lenox Square Theaters closed. That’s like hearing that Lenox Square itself had folded.
Yes, I saw all the Bond movies from the 70s there. I spent many a rainy Atlanta afternoon at the
Lenox Square movies.
And yes, the later expanded layout was a lousy place to see a movie. One frequently sat in the
theater and heard the soundtrack of the movie next door blasting through the wall. And the audiences got so rude and obnoxious (usually groups of teens) I finally stopped going to evening or weekend
showings, sticking to the less well attended matinees.
I thought I remembered the original entrance was located street level, not inside the mall. It was -
thanks for that photo Stan (and all your great posts.)
No, in its latter days, Lenox Square Theaters was not a great spot, but I always thought the place
would be there. Too bad it’s not.
Wow, I had long forgotten the Cinefest.
It was in at least two spots at GSU, the first I think was in Sparks Hall. I went there one
afternoon between classes to see Hearts and Minds, a movie Rex Reed very accurately
called “a paean to the VIet Cong.” I had recently reenrolled at GSU, fresh from army service in
Vietnam, some time in 1970. I was shocked that there were a bunch of fraternity boys (!!) in the audience who were actually cheering the Viet Cong – how quickly, I thought, times had changed.
A few years later, probably around ‘78 I went to another movie at the Cinefest, this time in a
larger room, complete with a balcony. The movie: Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And there were some
frat boys cheering the Masked Man with the chainsaw. Nah, just kidding. Before the movies, there
was a Three Stooges short. Chainsaw and the Stooges, a real mixed bag.
Odd that I didn’t see more movies at the Cinefest venue – they were free, well, included in my
student activity fee (I think about $6 per quarter then.)
I patronized the Tower Place 6 from the time it opened until some time in the 80s.
It was on the lower level of the Tower Place mall -to the left was a French restaurant called
Anne Marie’s – to the right, for a while was a disco called Kraz. Across the Piedmont Road side of
the mall was Kroger and The Limelight. I remember Tower Place 6 as perhaps the first movie theater I went to where the concession people wore some type of uniform.
I wasn’t sure what was happening with the place when it went to “dollar show” status. Then
I really couldn’t figure things out when all shows were one cent. That’s right, a penny.
I saw Schindler’s List and many other movies there some time in the 80s for a penny. I heard they were going out of business, and I thought perhaps the one cent admission was some kind of tax write off.
As I remember, the TP6’s marquee was on Peachtree Road at the entrance to the mall – correct?
Funny, I don’t get as nostalgic for those multiplexes as I do for the real theaters.
Well, this is getting comical.
SO you wrote the Wiki……
Tim Farley: guess I should have read the posts a little more carefully.
Do you wrote the Wiki about the Euclid (Variety)?
Great job, very well researched and informative. Appreciate that. Thanks very much.
I could not find the Euclid Theater listed in Cinema Treasures, so I attempted to add it.
Looks like things got a little jumbled in the header – the Euclid was a film house from Oct 4, 1940
when it opened until July 31, 1962 when it closed. Only much later did it become the Variety
I went to Bass High School in Little 5 Points from ‘61 to '65, when I finally made it into the 9th
grade… ok, just a little five points humor there, I actually graduated in '65. During the time I was
at Bass the Euclid was rented out for a while to an evangelist preacher named David Epley (still active and begging for $$$ today). Otherwise it was closed. Wikipedia contains an excellent history of the
Euclid, just enter Euclid Theater Atlanta or Variety Playhouse. I have never been into the Variety
but I believe it is a stage, not a motion picture, theater. Later when time permits, I’ll have to post
a little more about the Euclid, for what it’s worth.
In the late 70s I lived in an apartment building a few doors south of the Silver Screen. (The building
had a carpet merchant and a Chinese restaurant on the first floor, among other businesses. Steve
Smith’s dance studio, where I learned to do the “hustle,” was on the second floor.) Peaches Records
and Tapes was right across Peachtree Road. I loved to be able to walk up to the Silver Screen, there was almost always something good showing there.I fondly remember seeing the Lina Wertmuller films Swept Away and Seven Beauties at the SilverScreen. Last Tango in Paris was another. Audiences were always cool there too – laid back and serious about enjoying the movie, no yakkety-yak during the feature.
I worked in a downtown hotel in Atlanta in 1981. During long breaks between
double shifts, I’d frequently catch a matinee at the Omni. Seems like the place
had become what us Atlantans called “the dollar show” by then. Sometimes
the little shoebox theater would be so packed that every seat was taken. People in
seats to both my left and right. Lot of the audience were people who lived in poor
neighborhoods near the downtown area, including some of the projects nearby.
I’m not being patronizing, I know it for a fact because some of them were my coworkers.
Those folks took their movies seriously. They never talked or misbehaved during the
feature (unlike some in suburban audiences) – they responded to comedy with gusto.
Although the theaters had the architectural ambience of a freight car, I always enjoyed the good vibes of the great audiences at the Omni.
I saw Hurry Sundown and Blowup (M. Antonioni) there, both around 1967.
Just north of what is today’s Phipps Plaza Mall, that little Cherokee Mall was
at the end of the known world for most Atlantans in 1967.
Saw MAS*H at the original PPT in late 70 or early 71. Place was packed.
Was it at Phipps where you bought the tickets at one location in the mall, then
walked to the theater in another? Idea was to “acquaint” the customer with more
mall merchants. Anybody remember that, or is it just another of my
Baby Boomer memory tricks?
That mall was like a cemetery at one point in the early 80s. You could walk through
and about the only people you’d see were store employees and uniformed security
people. Lenox Square, on the other hand, would be packed. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Atlanta, I guess Phipps has recovered. Hope so, it was a beautiful mall.
I worked concession at the Emory starting in the early winter of ‘63, when I
was a junior at Bass High School in Little Five Points.
On November 22, 1963 I was off, but my friend Steve was working that evening.
And of course we all remember what had happened on that date.
Some time during the course of the evening, John King, then the manager, ordered
Steve to remove the marquee billing and replace it with the message “Respects to JFK."
Fred Storey, owner of the Storey Theaters chain came by and had the marquee changed
back, pronto. Steve was pissed – changing that marquee was a lot of work, especially for
sixty cents an hour.
Saw Woody Allen’s “What’s Up, Tiger Lilly?” at the Decatur in 1966.
Funny how one remembers odd tidbits, isn’t it?
Thanks again for the great posts all.
I remember riding past the theater almost every day, circa 1967, believe it was called Martin’s Cinerama then. The Sound of Music was showing – huge billboard above the theater with Julie
Andrews dancing in the Alps. That movie ran FOREVER. I remember thinking that the people
working there must have gotten to really hate Julie Andrews.
Stan, I was out of the country, serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Korea when that shooting happened. I never knew about it until just now read you post. Indeed, a sad, sad story.
I had to think hard about this one. If it’s the one I’m thinking of, and I believe it is, it was on the
left side of the street as you rode into town. On the right side of the street just before you got
to the Ashby was the Gay Paree (“All Male Cast”). Next to the Ashby was a B-girl champagne hustle
topless bar. Low profile was not the Ashby’s cup of tea – the place had a bright yellow facade
with giant silhouettes of nude women painted on. I had no quarrel with porn, but I did have a
problem with tacky eyesores.
Yes, that was the old Saint Francis, sort of a miniature imitation of NY’s Flat Iron building,
at least in structure. The Imperial was behind the Catholic Church (wasn’t that Sacred Heart?)
if memory serve me correctly.